FORRESTON, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — No-hitters are always thrilling, but when a pitcher’s first one comes in a sectional championship game, well that’s something really special.
Orangeville-Aquin senior pitcher Leah Baker did just that Friday afternoon at the Class 1A Forreston Sectional. She no-hit the South Beloit SoBos in a 6-0 win.
“It feels amazing because I’m ready to go far with this team.” said Baker following her gem.
When asked if she was aware she had a no-hitter going, and if that was part of her thought process she answered, “I mean it’s always a hope, but I’m just pitching the ball and hoping we can get the plays and get the outs and we did, and as it worked out, I got a no-hitter.”
Baker came close to losing that no-hitter in the top of the sixth inning. She was facing South Beloit’s best hitter Trinity Mesch. Baker had intentionally walked Mesch in Mesch’s first two plate appearances, but with Orangeville-Aquin up 6-0 and no on one on base Baker pitched to Mesch. Mesch hammered a line drive to the left side of the infield where shortstop Megan Holder made a lunging catch for the out. Other than that and one fly ball out to right field, South Beloit never made solid contact against Baker.
Orangeville-Aquin scored five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning after Mesch had blanked the Broncos through the first three innings. Anicka Kraft had the big hit in that inning, a bases loaded singled to left that drove in two runs.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Broncos added another run on a strange play. Addyson Wheeler hit a comebacker toward the mound. Mesch knocked it down, by the time she fielded the ball she had to rush her throw to first. It was wide and got past the first baseman allowing Wheeler to run all the way to third. A throw to the third baseman on the same play got past her, and Wheeler took off for home, and she scored easily touching them all.
Orangeville-Aquin now advances to the 1A Sterling Super-Sectional on Monday where the Broncos will face Peru St. Bede at 11 a.m. with a trip to State on the line.
For highlights of this game, watch the media player above.